Michelangelo "The Creation of Adam" (1510)
Michelangelo “The Creation of Adam” (1510)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer-Plus (LGBTQ+) Visual Artists

Introduction

LGBTQ+ artists, throughout world cultures, have made defining contributions to painting, sculpture, architecture, design, and photography. Below you can see their diverse achievements, that span millennia. This resource began as background for a series of museum outings.

James M. Saslow’s Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts (1999) is an outstanding survey of LGBTQ+ art, and social life, from antiquity to the present (winner of two Lambda Literary Awards). Here are works at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art referred to in the book:

  • Riza-i Abbasi, Two Lovers (Met # 50.164 – Saslow colorplate 12)
  • Hegesiboulos Painter, Symposium Scene (Met # 07.286.47 – Saslow illustration 1.9)
  • RomanWarren Cup (Met # L.1991.95 – Saslow illustration 1.24)
  • Caravaggio, Musicians (Met # 52.81 – Saslow illustration 3.17)
  • Pompeo Batoni, Portrait of a Young Man (Met # 03.37.1 – Saslow illustration 5.4)
  • Rosa Bonheur, Horse Fair (Met # 87.25 – Saslow illustration 5.10)
  • Picasso, Gertrude Stein (Met # 47.106 – Saslow illustration 6.2)

UPDATE February 20, 2022 – ‘PICTURES AND PASSIONS’ FREE TO DOWNLOAD: Thanks to Prof. Saslow, his Pictures and Passions is currently FREE to download complete as a high-quality, 59MB PDF (may require a free membership in academia.edu, that also offers thousands of scholarly articles on a wide range of topics).

Wikipedia also offers many entries for LGBTQ+ artists, including (using their category designations) Lesbian artists‎, Gay artists‎, Bisexual artists‎, Transgender and Transsexual artists‎, Queer artists‎, as well as LGBT comics creators‎ and LGBT animators‎.

glbtq Archives is an indispensable resource for Arts, Literature, Social Sciences and History. The Arts section comprises 800 in-depth articles on individuals (Michelangelo, Dürer, Kahlo, Philip Johnson) and movements (European Art, American Art: Gay Male and Lesbian, African Art Traditional and Contemporary, Subjects in the Visual Arts) in Fine Arts, as well as Dramatic Arts, Music, Sports, Entertainment, and more. NOTE that all articles download as PDF files. Below, under Visual Arts Resources for Global Cultures, are highlights of glbtq Archives.

* More LGBTQ+ Arts Resources

LGBTQ+ Literature, LGBTQ+ Film, and LGBTQ+ Classical Music. Essay “Why a LGBTQ+ Focus?” My Brief Guide to Film includes a section on visual analysis that can also be applied to painting and other forms.

GLOBAL TRADITIONS: While this site focuses largely on Western works, I value other cultures’ LGBTQ+ artistic heritages. As they become accessible in English, I look forward to exploring the additional worlds and visions that they hold. As a global community, standing upon millennia of history and resilience, the future of LGBTQ+ arts is diverse and bright.

PLEASE NOTE that all images are solely for educational, non-profit use.

LGBTQ+ Visual Artists

Renaissance & Baroque

  • Botticelli, Sandro (3/1/1445 – 5/17/1510 / Italy) – painter
  • Il Bronzino [Agnolo, or Agniolo, Di Cosimo] (1502 – 1572 / Italy) – painter
  • Caravaggio [Michelangelo Merisi] (9/29/1571 – 7/18/1610) – painter
  • Cellini, Benvenuto (11/3/1500 – 2/13/1571 / Italy) – sculptor, jeweler
  • Correggio [Antonio Allegri] (8/1489 – 3/5/1534 / Italy) – painter
  • Donatello [Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi] (1386 – 12/13/1466 / Italy) – sculptor
  • Duquesnoy, Jérôme [Hieronymus] (7/6/1602 – 1024/1654 / Flanders) – sculptor
  • Dürer, Albrecht (5/21/1471 – 4/6/1528 / Germany) – painter
  • El Greco [Domenikos Theotokopoulos] (1541? – 4/7/1614 / Spain) – painter
  • Guercino [Giovanni Francesco Barbieri] (2/3/1591 — 12/9/1666 / Italy) – painter
  • Leonardo da Vinci (4/15/1452 – 5/2/1519 / Italy) – painter, architect, inventor
  • Michelangelo [Michelangelo Buonarroti] (3/6/1475 – 2/18/1564 / Italy) – painter, sculptor, architect, poet
  • Parmigianino [Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, or Mazzuoli] (1/11/1503 – 8/24/1540 / Italy) – painter
  • Pontormo [Jacopo Carucci, also Jacopo da Potormo] (5/24/1494 – 1/2/1557) / Italy) – painter
  • Raphael [Raffaello Sanzio] (4/6/1483 – 4/6/1520 / Italy) – painter
  • Reni, Guido (11/4/1575 – 8/18/1642 / Italy) – painter
  • Il Sodoma [Giovanni Antonio Bazzi] (1477 – 2/14/1549? / Italy) – painter
  • Titian [Tiziano Vecellio] (ca. 1485–90 – 8/27/1576 / Italy) – painter
  • van Dyck, Anthony (3/22/1599 – 12/9/1641 / Flanders) – painter

1700–1900

  • Abbéma, Louise (10/30/1858 – 1927* / France) – sculptor, painter
  • Allston, Washington (11/5/1779 – 7/9/1843 / US) – painter, novelist (‘straightwashing’ Allston)
  • Bakst, Leon (4/10/1866 – 12/28/1924 / Russia) – painter
  • Bazille, Jean-Frédéric (12/6/1841 – 11/28/1870 / France) – painter
  • Beardsley, Aubrey (8/21/1872 – 3/16/1898 / UK) – illustrator, author
  • Blake, William (11/28/1757 – 8/12/1827 / UK) – painter, poet
  • Bonheur, Rosa [Marie-Rosalie] (3/16/1822 – 5/25/1899 / France) – painter, photographer
  • Carlyle, Florence (1864 – 1923* / Canada) – painter
  • Conder, Charles (10/24/1868 – 2/9/1909 / Australia) – painter
  • Damer, Anne (1748 – 1828*) – sculptor
  • David, Jacques–Louis (8/30/1748 – 12/29/1825 / France) – painter
  • Day, F. Holland (7/8/1864 – 11/12/1933 / US) – photographer, publisher
  • Degas, Edgar (7/19/1834 – 9/27/1917 / France) – painter, sculptor
  • Delacroix, Eugène (4/26/1798 – 8/13/1863 / France) – painter
  • Eakins, Thomas (7/25/1844 – 6/25/1916 / US) – painter
  • Filiger, Charles (11/28/1863 – 1/11/1928 / France) – painter
  • Flandrin, Jean-Hippolyte (3/23/1809 – 3/21/1864 / France) – painter
  • Fontaine, Pierre François Léonard (9/20/1762 – 10/10/1853 / France) – architect, interior designer
  • Fuseli, Henry [born Johann Heinrich Füssli] (2/7/1741 – 4/16/1825 / Switzerland/UK) – painter
  • Galdi, Vincenzo (1856 – ca. 1931 / Italy) – photographer
  • Gaugin, [Eugène Henri] Paul (6/8/1848 – 5/9/1903 / France) – painter
  • Gay, Emma Jane (1830 – 1919* / US) – photographer
  • Géricault, Théodore (9/26/1791 – 1/26/1824 / France) – painter
  • Girodet [Anne–Louis Girodet–Trioson] (1/5/1767 – 12/9/1824 / France) – painter
  • Gloeden, Wilhelm von (9/16/1856 – 2/16/1931) / Germany) – photographer
  • Haeckel, Ernst (2/16/1834 – 8/9/1919 / Germany) – artist, scientific illustrator (also a physicist and zoologist who discovered and named thousands of new species)
  • Hosmer, Harriet Goodhue (10/9/1830 – 2/21/1908 / US) – sculptor
  • Hunt, William Holman (4/2/1827 – 9/7/1910 / UK) – painter
  • Johnston, Frances Benjamin (1/15/1864 – 3/16/1952 / US) – photographer
  • Klumpke, Anna Elizabeth (10/28/1856 – 1942* / US) – painter
  • Lear, Edward (5/12/1812 – 1/29/1888 / UK) – painter, illustrator, poet
  • Leighton, Lord Frederic [1st Baron Leighton] (12/3/1830 – 1/25/1896 / UK) – painter
  • McKenzie, Robert Tait (1867 – 1938* / Canada) – sculptor, surgeon
  • Moreau, Gustave (4/6/1826 – 4/18/1898 / France) – painter
  • Morrice, James Wilson (8/10/1865 – 1/23/1924 / Canada) – painter
  • Percier, Charles (8/22/1764– 9/5/1838 / France) – architect, interior designer
  • Plüschow, Wilhelm [Guglielmo] (8/18/1852 – 1/3/1930 / Germany/Italy) – photographer
  • Prendergast, Maurice Brazil (0/27/1861 – 2/1/1924 / US) – painter
  • Ricketts, Charles De Sousy (1866 – 1931* / UK) – painter, book designer
  • Rodin, Auguste (François-Auguste-René) (11/12/1840 – 11/17/1917 / France) – sculptor
  • Sargent, John Singer (1/12/1856 – 4/14/1925 / US) – painter
  • Schwind, Moritz von (1/21/1804 – 2/8/1871 / Austria) – painter
  • Shannon, Charles Hazelwood (4/26/1865 – 1937*) – painter, lithographer
  • Solomon, Simeon (10/9/1840 – 8/14/1905 / UK) – painter
  • Stebbins, Emma (9/1/1815 – 1882* / US) – sculptor, painter
  • Sullivan, Louis (9/3/1856 – 4/14/1924 / US) – architect
  • Tuke, Henry Scott (6/12/1858 – 3/13/1929 / UK) – painter
  • Walker, Dame Ethel (1861 – 1951* / UK) – painter
  • Watson, Edith S. (1861 – 1943* / Canada) – photographer
  • Whistler, James Abbott McNeill (7/14/1834 – 7/17/1903 / US) – painter
  • Whitney, Anne (9/2/1821 – 1/23/1915 / US) – sculptor
  • Willson, Mary Ann (active 1810/1825) – painter

Modern

  • Abbott, Berenice (7/17/1898 – 12/9/1991 / US) – photographer
  • Bacon, Francis (10/28/1909 – 4/28/1992 / UK) – painter
  • Barthé, James Richmond (1/28/1901 – 3/5/1989 / US) – sculptor
  • Beaton, Cecil (1/14/1904 – 1/28/1980 / UK) – photographer, theatrical designer
  • Bechdel, Allison (9/10/1960 – / US) – graphic artist, author
  • Berners, Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt–Wilson, Baron (9/18/1883 – 4/19/1950 / UK)
  • Bernhard, Ruth (10/14/1905 – / Germany) – photographer
  • Bess, Forrest (10/5/1911 – 11/11/1977 / US) – painter
  • Blake, Nayland (2/5/1960 – / US) – painter
  • Boccioni, Umberto (10/19/1882 – 8/16/1916 / Italy) – painter, sculptor
  • Brainard, Joe (3/11/1942 – 5/25/1994 / US) – painter, graphic artist, poet, memoirist
  • Breker, Arno (7/19/1900 – 2/13/1991 / Germany) – sculptor
  • Brooks, Romaine (5/1/1874 – 12/7/1970 / US/France) – painter
  • Caballero, Luis (8/27/1943 – 6/19/1996 / Colombia) – painter
  • Cadmus, Paul (12/17/1904 – 12/12/1999 / US) – painter
  • Cahun, Claude [Lucy Schwob] (10/25/1894 – 12/8/1954 / France) – photographer
  • Carrington, Dora (3/29/1893 – 3/11/1932 / UK) – painter
  • Cocteau, Jean (7/5/1889 – 10/11/1963 / France) – visual artist, filmmaker, dramatist, novelist, poet
  • Cooling, Janet (10/14/1951 – / US) – painter
  • Dalí, Salvador [Salvador Felip Jacint Dalí Domènech] (5/11/1904 – 1/23/1989 / Catalonia/Spain) – painter
  • Delville, Jean (1/19/1867 – 1953* / Belgium) – painter
  • Demuth, Charles (11/9/1883 – 10/23/1935 / US) – painter
  • Dobell, Sir William (9/24/1899 – 5/13/1970 / Australia) – painter
  • Duchamp, Marcel (7/28/1887 – 10/2/1968 / France) – painter
  • Erté [Romain de Tirtoff] (11/23/1892 – 4/21/1990 / France) – painter
  • Fani-Kayode, Rotimi (1955* – 12/21/1989 / Nigeria) – photographer
  • Fini, Léonor (1907 – 1996* / Argentina/Italy) – painter
  • French, Jared (2/4/1905 – 1988* / US) – painter, photographer
  • Friend, Donald (2/6/1915 – 8/17/1989 / Australia) – painter
  • Freund, Gisèle (11/19/1908 – 3/31/2000 / Germany) – photographer
  • Gilpin, Laura (4/22/1891 – 11/30/1979 / US) – photographer
  • Grant, Duncan (1/21/1885 – 5/9/1978 / UK) – painter
  • Gray, Eileen (8/9/1878 – 10/31/1976 / UK) – architect, furniture designer
  • Haring, Keith (5/4/1958 – 2/16/1990 / US) – painter
  • Hartley, Marsden (1/4/1877 – 9/2/1943 / US)) – painter, poet
  • Höch, Hannah (11/1/1889 – 5/31/1978 / Germany) – photographer
  • Hockney, David (7/9/1937– / UK) – painter, theatrical designer
  • Israel, Frank (1945 – 1995* / US) – architect
  • Jarman, Derek (1/31/1942 – 2/19/1994 / UK) – painter, filmmaker, author [my Derek Jarman Website]
  • Johns, Jasper (5/15/1930 – / US) – painter
  • Johnson, Philip (7/8/1906 – 1/25/2005 / US) – architect
  • Johnston, Frances Bejamin (1864 – 1952* / US) – photographer
  • Kahlo, Frida (7/6/1907 – 7/13/1954 / Mexico) – painter
  • Laurençin, Marie (10/31/1883 – 6/8/1956 / France) – painter, theatre designer
  • Leyendecker, J.C. (Joseph Christian) (3/23/1874 – 7/25/1951 / US) – commercial artist
  • List, Herbert (10/7/1903 – 4/4/1975 / Germany) – photographer
  • Loring, Frances (1887 – 1968* / Canada) – painter
  • Lynes, George Platt (4/15/1907 – 12/6/1955 / US) – photographer
  • Mars, Ethel (9/19/1876 – 1956 / US) – painter, illustrator
  • Mather, Margarethe (ca. 1885 – 1952* / US) – photographer
  • Mammen, Jeanne (1890 – 1976* / Germany) – painter
  • Mapplethorpe, Robert (11/4/1946 – 3/9/1989 / US) – photographer
  • Martin, Agnes (3/22/1912 – 12/16/2004 / Canada) – painter
  • Morgan, Julia (1/20/1872 – 2/2/1957 / US) – architect
  • Nevelson, Louise (9/23/1900 – 4/17/1988 / US) – sculptor
  • Nugent, Richard Bruce (7/2/1906 – 5/27/1987 / US) – visual artist, author
  • O’Keeffe, Georgia (11/15/1887 – 3/6/1986 / US) – painter
  • Pollock, Jackson (1/28/1912 – 8/11/1956 / US) – painter
  • Procktor, Patrick (3/12/1936 – / UK) – painter
  • Rauschenberg, Robert (10/22/1925 – / US) – painter, sculptor
  • Ritts, Herb (8/13/1952 – 12/26/2002 / US ) – photographer
  • Rudolph, Paul (10/23/1918 – 8/8/1977 / US) – architect
  • Scavullo, Franceso (1/16/1921 – 1/6/2004 / US) – photographer
  • Sipprell, Clara (1885 – 1975* / Canada) – photographer
  • Squire, Maud Hunt (1/30/1873 – 1955* / US) – painter, illustrator
  • Tooker, George (8/5/1920 – / US) – painter
  • Tsarouchis, Yannis (1/13/1910 – 7/20/1989 / Greece) – painter
  • Twombly, Cy (4/25/1928 – / US) – painter
  • Vaughan, Keith (8/23/1912 – 11/4/1977 / UK) – painter
  • Warhol, Andy (8/6/1928? – 2/22/1987 / US) – painter, filmmaker
  • Watson, Edith (1861 – 1943* / Canada) – photographer
  • Weber, Bruce (3/29/1946 – / US) – photographer, filmmaker
  • Weston, Edward (3/24/1886 – 1/1/1958 / US) – photographer
  • White, Minor (7/9/1908 – 6/24/1976 / US) – photographer
  • Wojnarowicz, David (9/14/1954 – 7/22/1992) – painter, photographer
  • Wood, Thelma Ellen (7/3/1901 – 12/10/1970 / US) – silverpoint drawing
  • Wyle, Florence (1881 – 1968* / Canada) – painter
  • Zenil, Nahum B. (1947* – / Mexico) – painter

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Visual Arts Resources for Global Cultures

Art: American (African-American, Canadian, Latin American, Native American, U.S.)

  • African-American and African Diaspora Art
  • American Art: Gay Male, Nineteenth Century
  • American Art: Gay Male, 1900-1969
  • American Art: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall
  • American Art: Lesbian, Nineteenth Century
  • American Art: Lesbian, 1900-1969
  • American Art: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall
  • Canadian Art
  • Latin American Art
  • Latina/Latino American Art
  • Native American Art

Art: European (Ancient to Modern)

  • Classical Art (ancient Greece & Rome)
  • European Art: Medieval
  • European Art: Renaissance
  • European Art: Mannerism
  • European Art: Baroque
  • European Art: Eighteenth Century
  • European Art: Neoclassicism
  • European Art: Nineteenth Century
  • European Art: Twentieth Century

Art: International (African, Australian, Eastern, Middle-Eastern, Pacific)

  • African Art: Traditional
  • African Art: Contemporary
  • Australian Art
  • Indian Art
  • Islamic Art
  • Japanese Art
  • New Zealand Art
  • Pacific Art

Artistic Movements & General Topics

  • AIDS Activism in the Arts
  • Arts and Crafts Movement
  • Censorship in the Arts
  • Comic Strips and Cartoons
  • Contemporary Art
  • Performance Art
  • Pop Art
  • Pulp Paperbacks and Their Covers
  • Salons
  • Surrealism
  • Symbolists
  • Symbols
  • Tattoos
  • Video Art

Photography

  • Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
  • Photography: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall
  • Photography: Lesbian, Pre-Stonewall
  • Photography: Lesbian, Post-Stonewall

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Museum Outings

Here are the informal museum outings (in more senses than one), referenced above, which members of a former NYC LGBTQ+ reading group and friends went on:

LGBTQ+ Artists
LGBTQ+ Artists

Begun 1997 / Updated March 10, 2022

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